When was the last time you heard of a major speech to Congress taking place in the morning? It rarely happens.
Why is Netanyahu speaking so early?
The answer is that the speech is mostly aimed at the Israeli public, who are headed to the polls in two weeks to elect a new parliament that will decide whether or not to re-elect Netanyahu as Prime Minister. The incumbent PM is addressing Israelis sitting who are sitting down to dinner.
The government of Israel recognizes the speech as a political message. The Israeli Central Elections Committee has placed the broadcast under a 5-minute delay, to review and possibly censor the speech for content that could be construed as “campaigning.”
Do the creatures of the Warfare State feel shame, regret, remorse, guilt, or penitence? I have a hard time believing they can, but if they can leverage those same feelings among the population into supporting endless foreign intervention, they will make vigorous use of any emotion, in a manner similar to a used car salesman.
Case in point: appearing on CBS’s "Face the Nation," Senator John McCain recently employed an emotional reaction alien to his countenance in regard to his general inability to pull the rug out from under Ukraine. In lamenting his, at the present, powerlessness to arm the Ukrainian government, McCain let loose this howler:
"I’m ashamed of my country, I’m ashamed of my president and I’m ashamed of myself that I haven’t done more to help these people. It is really, really heartbreaking."
His public contortions in favor of intervention are grotesque, and his sense of shame seems to be confined to what the United State war machine cannot do. He doesn’t appear to feel anything at all for the wasteland he helped create in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and the myriad other Middle Eastern countries that have had a taste of McCain’s brand of "help."
He wants weapons and money flowing to the Ukrainian government to combat the separatists, and "Russia". Does he care what the consequences would be if Russia called his bluff? His entire history as a Senator is evidence of the amount attention he pays to consequences. How far is he willing to go with aid to Ukraine?
As a proponent of free and open information, I was initially reluctant to call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to Israel. Despite my dislike of Netanyahu and Israeli foreign policy generally, his scheduled Congressional address, on its face, does little more than add an additional perspective to America’s foreign policy debate. More debate and discussion is usually welcome, because too often American foreign policy is conducted behind closed doors with the dubious claims of politicians going unchecked. Only after war is underway do tidbits begin to leak to the public about the intelligence which supposedly made war necessary. If Iran is in Barack Obama’s or Congress’s crosshairs, one part of me says: Let Netanyahu’s puppetmastery be a matter of public record.
With that said, Americans already know what Netanyahu’s U.S. tour is about: more war. And that is why they largely oppose it. Americans don’t need Netanyahu in Washington to explain his position – they’re already well aware. A fair number in Congress toe the Israeli line, adopting Netanyahu’s murderous ideology wholesale. It is an ideology that sees diplomacy as a last resort, and has a loud voice in Congress thanks to the efforts of AIPAC – the Israeli propaganda machine operating in Washington. One need only look at their work to learn what Israeli warmongers want.
So while more discussion and new information are normally welcomed, Netanyahu’s antics give us neither. His Congressional hosts will use his address to bolster their calls for the continued American war state, one which is waged as much by the Israeli state as the American one. Yes, Israeli foreign policy is regarded throughout the rest of the world as an extension of American foreign policy, and rightfully so. Stolen taxpayer loot funds Israel to the tune of several billion dollars per year. For a small country, Israel is not only armed to the teeth, but is also able to simultaneously lock down an entire Palestinian population. This is what American foreign aid, paid for by you, spent by Washington, achieves.
War, Terror, and the Ethics of Extinction
“Violence begets violence” is a phrase famously used by Martin Luther King, Jr. And the “cycle of violence” is a well-known concept in the study of domestic abuse. In the days following 9/11, Harry Browne applied both to war and terrorism.
In those fevered days, Browne was one of the heroic few who bravely stood up to the “tripartisan” consensus among conservatives, liberals, and libertarians then baying for indiscriminate vengeance and displaying a rabid intolerance for dissent. On September 12, he wrote an editorial on Antiwar.com titled “When Will We Learn?” in which he cited the primary role of American state violence abroad in engendering retaliatory violence against the American people, which is what the 9/11 attacks were.
“Did we think the people who lost their families and friends and property in all that destruction would love America for what happened?
When will we learn that violence always begets violence?”
This drew a predictable flood of vituperation (much of it coming from libertarians), to which he responded with a follow-up editorial titled “The Cycle of Violence.” In that piece, he extended the “violence begets violence” principle to the terrorist attacks themselves.
A month after former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine felony counts with circumstantial metadata, the zealous prosecution is now having potentially major consequences – casting doubt on the credibility of claims by the U.S. government that Iran has developed a nuclear weapons program.
With negotiations between Iran and the United States at a pivotal stage, fallout from the trial’s revelations about the CIA’s Operation Merlin is likely to cause the International Atomic Energy Agency to re-examine U.S. assertions that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
In its zeal to prosecute Sterling for allegedly leaking classified information about Operation Merlin – which provided flawed nuclear weapon design information to Iran in 2000 – the U.S. government has damaged its own standing with the IAEA. The trial made public a treasure trove of information about the Merlin operation.
Last week Bloomberg News reported from Vienna, where IAEA is headquartered, that the agency “will probably review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the revelations, said the two diplomats who are familiar with the IAEA’s Iran file and asked not to be named because the details are confidential.”
The Bloomberg dispatch, which matter-of-factly referred to Merlin as a “sting” operation, quoted a former British envoy to the IAEA, Peter Jenkins, saying: “This story suggests a possibility that hostile intelligence agencies could decide to plant a ‘smoking gun’ in Iran for the IAEA to find. That looks like a big problem.”
One of the heroes of the Waco fights of the 1990s has passed away. Mike McNulty did more than any other single person to doggedly pursue the truth about Waco. And he produced or co-produced a number of superb films that vividly and compelling explained why the feds were lying about the carnage they unleashed in Texas. And he fed great information to me and other journalists – as well as sometimes impatiently pushing us forward, urging us to turn over more rocks. (I think my sense of humor puzzled or irked him at times during our phone calls, but I came out on the right side of the issue, so he usually tolerated me pretty well.) Mike was never cowed by official bullshit or by the strutting and intimidation attempts by lawmen or political appointee poohbahs. Mike helped Janet Reno get the legacy she deserved.
I quoted Mike at length on an article on the Waco coverup that came out in the Washington Times on the morning of the Oklahoma City bombing, April 19, 1995:
Other investigators are also raising questions about the government’s possible role in killing the Davidians. Michael McNulty, chairman of the Citizens Organization for Public Safety, of Fort Collins, Colo., has conducted an extensive analysis of videotapes on the final assault, as well as interviews with forensic scientists and Davidian survivors.
Mr. McNulty believes FBI snipers shot Davidians on the morning of April 19 as they were running out of the back of the compound to escape the CS gas. (During the FBI-Randy Weaver confrontation a few months before the Waco conflict, one FBI SWAT team member summarized the rules of engagement as “if you see ‘em, shoot ‘em,” according to a confidential Justice Department report). Mr. McNulty argues that infrared videotape indicates that the tanks may have pushed the bodies of the slain Davidians back into the building before the fire began. (Mr. McNulty has portions of the tape, but there are significant gaps that the government has refused to release).
Mr. McNulty also believes the FBI intentionally ignited two fires in the compound the final day with pyrotechnic devices. He says that FBI pyrotechnic devices were fired into areas inundated with CS gas particulates at precisely the same time that fireballs exploded from the back of the gymnasium. According to Army manuals, there is a significant risk of flammability from CS gas particulates. For instance, Army field manual FM-21-27 states on page 21: “Warning: When using the dry agent CS-1, do not discharge indoors. Accumulating dust may explode when exposed to spark or open flame.”